Musk wants X to be stock trading platform built at no-cost

Western social media apps have attempted but failed to gain users' trust with their finances. Musk appears to overlook this repeatedly.
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk has considered adding features to make the platform an all-in-one app for people to accomplish various tasks.
Elon Musk has considered adding features to make the platform an all-in-one app for people to accomplish various tasks.

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Elon Musk's vision for X, formerly known as Twitter, includes making it a platform for trading stock as well. The company contacted fintech firms interested in developing this feature but is not providing any financial commitment at the moment, Semafor reported.

Ever since Musk mentioned taking over Twitter in April last year, the world's richest person has toyed with the idea of adding multiple features to the platform to make it an 'everything app' that people can use to get most things done.

Musk has drawn inspiration not only from WeChat, the Chinese app that achieves this integration, but he also considered a similar approach with his venture, which he founded over two decades ago. Although Musk was ousted as CEO, and the company later became PayPal and gained global popularity, he now sees an opportunity to revisit this idea with the acquisition of Twitter.

X reaches out to the fintech industry

Since his takeover of Twitter, Musk has unveiled features such as cashtag, where users can see live stock charts by using a $ in front of ticker names, a service powered through a data startup Trading View.

Later, it was announced that users could buy and sell stocks within the platform using eToro, a competitor to Robinhood, a popular trading and investing app. However, this feature is yet to see the light of day, and under its new branding, the Elon Musk-owned company is now reaching out to financial data giants to build a trading hub inside the platform.

According to the Semafor report, X is touting itself as a platform for reaching "hundreds of millions of highly qualified users" but isn't ready to commit any funds toward building this hub. Instead, the company is inquiring about the level of commitment fintech companies are willing to make for the project. It remains uncertain whether any firms have responded to this inquiry.

Musk wants X to be stock trading platform built at no-cost
Stock image of trading using a smartphone

Will X make it?

The concept of gaining users' trust in social media platforms with their money is not a new phenomenon in Silicon Valley. Both Snap and Meta have attempted this before and miserably failed. Payments in WhatsApp could still be regarded as an exception but is nowhere close to the penetration that conventional banks or even retail trading apps have managed.

Musk believes that integrated services within X could nearly quadruple its own user base to a billion people. Brokerage from stock transactions could be yet another stream of revenues that Musk could be looking to tap into after advertisers remained a bit elusive.

Musk could also be drawing positives from Apple's offering of a savings account earlier this year, which drew deposits of a billion dollars in just four days. Even a small percentage of Musk's 151 million followers using X as a trading platform could garner a few million in brokerage every month.

In contrast to Apple, which has built trust with its customers over many years, Musk's frequent changes and instability on Twitter have driven users away. X not only needs to rebuild that trust but also needs to position its advantages over existing tools, which users have gotten used to over the past few months.